Effect of humidity on spread of influenza

Flu season has begun, but did you know that the level of air humidity can actually impact the transmission rates of the virus? That is precisely what a joint University of California and Stanford University study has determined.

Influenza is likely to spread when the temperatures are warm and the humidity level is increased. What that means for a city that is incessantly humid, like Houston, is that fighting the virus can be a year-long battle. 

"The challenge for Houston is that our humidity, compared to anywhere else in the country, is always very high," says FOX 26 News Chief Meteorologist Dr. Jim Siebert, explaining why humidity plays an intricate role in transmitting the influenza virus. "Look at it this way, Houston always has mold growing. If you have mold, which is very similar to an experiment like what they are doing with influenza, it always grows naturally here. It grows more in the summer, in fact, explosively in the summertime when it's hot and humid."